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Today, the richest 1% of adults will own more than 50% of global wealth. Indeed the 85 richest individuals will have more wealth than the poorest 50% of the world's population. But does property law facilitate this and encourage this inequality, or is it merely the instrument by which this division in wealth can be measured. One thing is undeniable though, the connection between the concept of property and law. For many legal systems around the world, the notion of private property is the foundation on which legal systems operate. Given this importance, this unit takes three themes and considers how the history of property law, its current operation, and future direction will influence our doctrinal and theoretical understanding of property law, and its place within the law of obligations. These three themes ask: how is property created, how is it acquired and how is it transferred. Consistent with these themes, knowledge of the nature and type of various proprietary interests in chattels and land, and their creation and relative enforceability at law and in equity is discussed. There will be a detailed focus on the Torrens system of land registration as well as briefer consideration of general law land, crown land, and native title. The specific areas of co-ownership, mortgages, leases, licences, easements, restrictive covenants, and strata title will also be analysed.

Summary 2021

Unit name Property Law
Unit code LAW354
Credit points 12.5
Faculty/School College of Arts, Law and Education
Faculty of Law
Discipline Law

Professor Benjamin Richardson

Teaching staff

Professor Benjamin Richardson and Elise Murray

Level Advanced
Available as student elective? No
Breadth Unit? No



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About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify both the general principles of property law and the legal issues arising from an examination of those discrete areas selected for study within the units.
  2. Critically analyse and justify a response to factual problems in property law.
  3. Examine and evaluate the political and historical factors that have shaped and continue to shape, the rules governing property law, and the policy issues that underlie the current rules.
  4. Research a specific problem in property law using a range of primary and secondary legal materials.
  5. Communicate professionally in writing, observing all appropriate academic and legal referencing conventions.



50 credit points of Intermediate Law core

Mutual Exclusions

You cannot enrol in this unit as well as the following:


Teaching Pattern


Mid-semester test, 30 minutes (10%), Research essay, 2000 words (40%), Final exam, 2 hours (50%).

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